Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm Listening To: "Sun Mountain" - Walter Becker & Donald Fagen

I didn't even know that this CD - "Sun Mountain" - even existed until very recently. That's hard to believe. I might be one of the world's most avid fans of Becker and Fagen, and I've followed their work from the days of their first Steely Dan release "Can't Buy a Thrill" in 1972. I've seen them twice - although, to be fair, neither of those two concerts was back in the "old days". I only got to see them in the 90s when they restarted their touring.

Each of the 17 tracks on this CD were recorded between 1968 and 1971.

"Sun Mountain", as I discovered, is full of demos - some more polished than others - of songs which both did and didn't eventually make their way onto Steely Dan albums. An example of the latter is "A Little With Sugar", a very engaging song which apparently was least I'm not aware it was ever recorded by Steely Dan. I don't understand why.

So on this CD, you'll hear unreleased compositions as well as the fledgling versions of such classics as "Any Major Dude Will Tell You", "Any World That I'm Welcome To", "Barrytown", and "Parker's Band", among others.

Would I recommend this CD to anybody? Clearly, no. Really, it's for people like me. We're the died-in-the-wool fans of Becker and Fagen who are delighted to get a peek into their early genius. I'm very happy to have added this to my Steely Dan collection!

There's a review of this CD on Amazon, if you'd like to give it a read to get the opinion of another fan.


PS Can you imagine - I've actually married a man who can't stand Steely Dan? It must be true love, then, don't you think? ;-)


At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Louis said...

Hi Janet,
Long-time Dan fan here as well and you are right - I wouldn't turn on the casual fan to "Sun Mountain" either. It's only for the hard core [grin]. Sorry to hear about your hubby. Both my wife and I love SD and like you have only seen them since they started touring in the 90s. We saw the NY Rock and Soul Review and then every tour since but this summer's. Unfortunately they did not play Hampton Roads, VA area or DC. All the rest of the concerts were too far away for us. Take care and drink your big black cow and get outta here [big smile].

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense, but if you really were "one of the world's most avid fans of Becker and Fagen" you would have known about these outtakes 25 years ago. These same songs are on about 30 different CD's with different titles.

These are songs that were never meant for release. They're just very rough demos. Becker & Fagen are not very happy with people hearing these unfinished tunes.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Janet said...

No offense taken, Anonymous.


At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Sodium said...

I just learnt of these recordings today as well, Janet.

And while I'm not a rabid uberfan of the dan, I have ahealthy obsession with them from the start as well. Ive spoken to Rick Marotta few times and he has a good recolletion of the dates he did with them.

Thanks for the post.

na @ Bondi Beach, Australia

At 10:55 PM, Blogger tunes said...

Stumbled on this myself and love it to pieces same as you- as a musician these guys set the bar we all reached for - and it is awesome to hear that they started out sounding like, well, mortals. Way fun.
Also - if as you say it's all between 68-71, some of these ideas didn't make it to a studio record for years.... What a backlog of great tunes....

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is a self righteous tosser..Great post Janet!


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